Guidance for practitioners
Providing effective and appropriate care to people facing significant life-changing events such as bereavement or serious illness demands that the individual way in which each person experiences and deals with loss, be recognised and understood.
There are many theories of grief which form an extensive knowledge base for practitioners. A theoretical framework which has been developed by Linda Machin, the Range of Response to Loss model (RRL), uses the language of grieving people heard in her practice and research. While providing a distinctive perspective the RRL is consistent with other theories used extensively in this field of care, such as attachment theory and the dual process model of grief.
The Adult Attitude to Grief scale (AAG) was originally devised (Machin 2001) to test the validity of the concepts within the Range of Response to Loss model (RRL). While confirming the categorical distinctions – overwhelmed, controlled, resilience – it also demonstrated the potential for profiling individual grief responses. As a tool for practice the AAG has been modified for use in palliative care, with patients and carers, and with bereaved children.
The practice implications of this work suggest a pluralistic approach to bereavement and grief care in which effective intervention is based on appropriately addressing individual need rather than applying a one-size-fits-all approach.